Showing posts from July 19, 2009

Carmarthenshire burglary warning

Residents in Carmarthenshire are being warned to make sure their summer holidays are not ruined by thieves.
If you are going away this summer then make sure you secure your home to avoid becoming a victim of crime.
Figures show a large number of burglaries in the county are the result of insecure properties or open entry.
During the last three months (April to June) there were 51 house burglaries across Carmarthenshire and 39 per cent (20) of those were due to insecure/open entry.
This means they could have been avoided if residents had taken simple precautions such as locking window and doors.
The figures also show that 57 per cent (29) of those burglaries occurred in empty properties and 19 of those were in homes that were temporarily vacant.
The Community Safety Partnership is now urging householders to be more security conscious, particularly during the summer months when the weather hots up and before going away on holidays.
Community Safety Inspector Tony Ward said: “Carmarthenshire is…

New seats for Llanelli town centre

Shoppers can ‘take a seat’ in Llanelli town centre thanks to a tidy £38,000 cash boost.
More than 20 old wooden benches have been replaced with bright new stainless steel street furniture.
This type of seating has already been installed in the Spring Gardens and are less prone to vandalism being altogether more durable.
The shiny new seats are just one of a number of improvements taking place to spruce up the town centre thanks to a £38,000 funding boost from Tidy Towns.
A massive clean-up has taken place to remove pigeon mess from pavements and shop fronts, and new spikes and nets have been installed above the canopies and other favourite roosting spots to try and deter the birds.
Walkways have also been given a lick of paint and flowerbeds have been replanted.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s executive board member for regeneration and leisure Councillor Clive Scourfield said: “These works have really made a difference to the town centre, the new street furniture is modern and in keeping …

Paul adds muscle to Life!

A leading Swansea health and fitness club has just added some more muscle-power to its management team.
Internet and technology expert Paul Morgan has joined the Life Health and Fitness Clubs in Castell Close on Swansea’s Enterprise Park as a marketing director.
Swansea-born Mr Morgan, 40, is the founder of UK-wide web design and marketing agency Caboodle Digital Limited.
“Expanding into the health and fitness sector is new territory for me, but I am very excited by the move,” Mr Morgan said.
“Life Health Clubs are already very well known in Swansea and South Wales. We currently only have places for an extra 200 or so members and we are building up a solid reputation for being one of the most innovative health and fitness centres in the area.
“The customer comes first with us and we are there to provide all sorts of help and advice, from fitness techniques to help with diet programmes.
“We will be encouraging the corporate sector to get involved, but we will also be doing something special …

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Community counts at Llandegfan

Never underestimate the power of the old parish hall. In Llandegfan, on Anglesey, the idea of the ‘parish’ being the focal point for all members of the local community lives on.
Llandegfan’s parish hall has a rich history dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. Now, thanks to the Welsh Assembly Government, the hall has been equipped to serve the village well into the 21st century.
“The future is very bright for our village hall,” said development committee secretary Sian Arwel Davies.
“We are obviously very proud of its history. But we are equally proud of the fact that we have made sure that the hall moves with the times to continue to serve the community of Llandegfan.”
Mrs Davies said community support for the project to revamp the parish hall was crucial.
“We went out and canvassed the views of the local community and gave them questionnaires. The views they expressed there have been taken into account in the improvements to the hall.
“Llandegfan in geographic terms is a villa…

Carmarthenshire social care award

A training programme led by people with learning disabilities has been recognised at a prestigious social care award ceremony.
Carmarthenshire People First, an advocacy and disability equality training organisation based in Carmarthen, was one of 14 finalists at the Social Care Accolades, held recently in Cardiff.
The group, which works closely with Carmarthenshire County Council’s social care, health and housing department, won praise for a new training programme known as Keeping Yourself Safe.
The programme helps people with learning disabilities stay safe by teaching them how to recognise abuse and advises them of ways to report abuse, or suspicions of abuse, appropriately.
As part of the programme, four people with learning disabilities received training to teach the course alongside a team of specialist consultants.
The group held its first seminar in front of 100 care and social service professionals from across Wales in Llanelli earlier this year.
It proved so successful, that Carmar…

Carway school award

The chairman of Carmarthenshire County Council has congratulated Carway Primary School on winning a national road safety award.
The community has seen a dramatic increase in commuters through the village and the school has placed road safety high on the curriculum. The walking bus proved a huge hit with pupils.
The Safer Routes to Schools Community Project, in partnership with the authority’s Transport Policy Programme Unit and Carway Primary School, has won the IHT/Atkins Road Safety Award - Reducing Child Casualties at the Institution for Highways and Transportation UK Awards held in Hendon. Carway School was the only Welsh application shortlisted and beat off bids by London and Scotland.
Council chairman Cllr Tyssul Evans invited pupils to the Chairman’s Room in County Hall, Carmarthen to congratulate them.
Road safety is a major priority for Carmarthenshire’s Community Safety Partnership made up representatives of the county council, fire service, police and other agencies to make Car…

Amman Valley centre plan approved

Planning permission has been granted for a car park extension and new court area at Amman Valley Leisure Centre.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning committee approved an application to adapt a netball/tennis court into an extension to the car park at the council-operated leisure centre in Margaret Street, Ammanford, and to build a new court area as a replacement.
The scheme will double parking provision to 122 long stay spaces with seven disabled parking spaces. The netball courts are being relocated to an area to the west of the swimming pool area, on the site of the cricket nets, whilst the cricket nets are being relocated to an area within the confines of the running track.

Carmarthenshire events appeal

Event Organisers in Carmarthenshire are urged to apply immediately to licence their events, or face disappointment over the summer period.
Carmarthenshire County Council, which issues Temporary Event Notices within the county, wants to encourage those wishing to hold a public event or extend their existing hours over the summer period to submit their Notices promptly.
Activities covered by the Temporary Event Notices (TEN) are: sales by retail of alcohol for consumption either off or on the premises or both; the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to, or to the order of a member of a club; and the provision of regulated entertainment; the provision of late night refreshments (between 11pm and 5am). Events covered by a Temporary Events Notice (TEN) can last for up to 96 hours and must involve no more than 499 people.
Anyone wishing to apply for a TEN must submit two copies of the Notice to the council at least 10 clear working days (excluding weekends, the day of the events and th…

My new website

The website is up and running. Please excuse the obvious errors and missing links.

Dryslwyn community comes together

Residents in Dryslwyn can post a letter and buy a dozen eggs at the same time, thanks to the hard work of volunteers and a little help from Carmarthenshire County Council.
Members of the community led a campaign to retain a Post Office counter and shop in the area to ensure residents don’t have to face a 14-mile trip to the nearest facilities.
Now Dryslwyn Community Shop – which is a partner service of the Post Office – is staffed entirely by a team of 30 volunteers, their backgrounds ranging from nursing to teaching.
Produce is sourced locally, and any trading surplus gets ploughed back into the shop or distributed to local causes.
The campaign was led by volunteer Tony Graf, a retired teacher, who worked with the council’s Access to Services officers to apply for funding to renovate and refit the shop with refrigeration units, a tea room and community services such as internet access.
Volunteers also secured a £5,000 interest-free loan from the Carmarthenshire Lottery to help with the b…

Brynsierfel school plan approved

Plans have been approved for a £5.1million new school in Brynsierfel, Llanelli.
An application has been approved by Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning committee for the new building.
Work is now due to start in September and provide first class accommodation and facilities for 210 pupils plus nursery provision.
Built on the existing site, the new building will be split level and contain many features of architectural interest.
The school is the latest to be built through Carmarthenshire County Council’s £180million Modernising Education Provision programme.
In Llanelli alone, Brynsierfel is one of three being built at the moment – the others are Ysgol Maes y Morfa and Ysgol y Felin. Plans are also underway for two others at Furnace and Seaside.
The schemes cost a total of around £35million, and between them will provide first class schools for almost 2,000 children.
To date, over £50million has been spent on the MEP programme. Over the last year alone, around £20million funded improv…

Owls swoop in to Llanelli

Jasper the Barn Owl and Bo the Bengal Eagle Owl are paying a special visit to Llanelli Library to encourage children to read.
The two owls – from the Pant Glas Country Life and Birds of Prey Centre – will be special guests at a summer reading event.
The Green Balloon Club Quest involves crafts and stories about nature and is taking place in the Children’s Library on Thursday, July 30, from 10.30am to 11.30am.
Children can learn more about owls and have the chance to stroke them, and Janet Barber of the Centre will tell them all about Jasper and Bo.
The free event is part of a series of summer fun activities at the library, run by Carmarthenshire County Council.
It is suitable for children aged between three and seven, children must be accompanied by a parent.
Education executive board member Cllr Gwynne Wooldridge said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for children to get close to these owls and find out more about them.
“The Green Balloon Club Quest is one of our free summer activitie…

Form a syndicate and save cash!

Carmarthenshire 50+ is encouraging older people to form syndicates with their neighbours to buy heating on discount.
Members of the 50+ Forum members are advised to shop around for the best deal and look at all the issues such as obtaining the best price and easiest payment methods.
Some local suppliers have offers ranging from cheaper prices if customers order together as a syndicate, and monthly payment plans, to a computer tank monitoring system which will alert the supplier that a new delivery of oil is needed.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s 50+ Champion Cllr Kevin Madge said: “Bringing together as many of your close neighbours as possible in a syndicate is recommended as a good way of cutting costs, and spreading the cost over the year by monthly direct debit payments will make budgeting easier.”

Calling all grandparents . . .

Carmarthenshire’s 50+ Forum is supporting Grandparents’ Day at the
National Botanic Garden of Wales on August 7.
The intergenerational learning day has been organised by Learn with Grandma, a no-for-profit company that aims to encourage respect between the generations; to help instil a love of learning; to help create lasting memories and to have fun.
The purpose of the day is to get grandparents, and their grandchildren, playing and learning together. There will be a host of activities to do and lots to learn about - plenty of fun for people of all ages. Mums and dads are welcome too.
Valerie Wood-Gaiger MBE, who co-founded Learn with Grandma, will launch Heliwr oes yr ia /Beck an Ice Age Hunter – the second book of her prehistory series of fun educational books; and she and other grannies, will talk about how to make the best use of the time spent with grandchildren - to pass on skills - how the older generation can learn from the youngsters.
There will be lots family activities to enjo…

Forum held at Parc y Scarlets

A forum has been held in Carmarthenshire to raise awareness of the services which help vulnerable people maintain independence in their own homes.
The event was put on by the Welsh Assembly Government funded Supporting People programme, which is led locally by Carmarthenshire County Council.
It was held at Llanelli’s Parc Y Scarlets and was the fifth of its kind.
Speakers included Cllr Hugh Evans, the council’s Supporting People Champion; Ruth Evans, Supporting People Principal Officer; Peter Llewellyn, Head of Partnership and Integrated Commissioning; Phil Tipton, Supporting People Development Officer for Merthyr County Borough Council; and Sharon Court, Service Manager at Trothwy Cyf and Chair of the Supporting People Providers Forum.
It was aimed at raising the profile of the Supporting People programme and of the services that it funds.
It also gave people the opportunity to voice their opinions on gaps in services and to talk about priorities for the future delivery and development o…

New logo for Carmarthenshire traders

Members of Carmarthenshire’s Registered Traders Scheme are being urged to display its logo to spread the word.
The county council’s Trading Standards Service is this month reminding residents about the Registered Traders Scheme and trying to ensure people recognise the logo.
Scheme co-ordinator Viv Jones said: “We have been running the Traders Scheme for a number of years now and would like to remind residents and traders alike of its existence and what the scheme can provide.
“The logo is an important part of the scheme and my aim is to make sure it becomes an instantly recognisable and trusted brand. We do ask members to display the logo on their stationary and vehicles in an attempt to spread the word.”
The scheme was originally set up in 2004 and has slowly built up its membership with numbers increasing all the time. Members agree to abide by the scheme’s code of practice and to trade fairly. Most areas of the building trade are covered as well as the newer list of Gardeners and Han…

Disability conference in Llanelli

Families who have children with disabilities and special needs were among those who attended the launch of a new strategy designed to address better communication between individuals and professionals.
The Disability Service Communication Strategy was launched at the Selwyn Samuel Centre, Llanelli.
A range of organisations and professionals attended, including Homestart, the Family Information Service and representatives from Llys Caradog and Blaenau respite centres.
Representative groups presented debates and scenarios about effective and poor communication and the difficulties faced by children with disabilities and their families.
Children and young people took part in activities to let people know how it feels to have a communication difficulty, and parents spoke about various issues they face.
Frances Lewis, Integrated Disability Service Manager, said: “Good communication is the key to high quality person-centred services, and so it is essential that there is effective communication b…

Go Ape at Pembrey

Adventure seekers will soon have the chance to take to the trees in Pembrey Country Park.
Planning permission has been granted for a high wire adventure course to be created there by Adventure Forest Ltd.
The application site consists of part of a recreational forest and adjacent land close to the entrance into Pembrey Country Park.
The application by Go Ape seeks full planning permission to site a high wire adventure course within the forest. The course will consist of a number of activities including tree ladders, tree crossings and zip wires leading to landing zones.
An officers’ report to the committee said: “Go Ape is a multi-award winning provider of high ropes adventure courses. Its courses are designed to enable anyone over the age of 10 to experience an eco-educational adventure high up in the tree canopy.
“Go Ape was recently awarded the tender for the provision of a high ropes adventure course at Pembrey Country Park by Carmarthenshire County Council. It will be the second Go Ap…

James Street go-ahead

Carmarthenshire planners have recommended giving outline consent for three houses to be built in Llanelli’s James Street - provided that it can be shown it would not affect the water quality of the Burry Inlet.
The council has to ensure that new developments in the Llanelli area will not have a detrimental impact on water quality.
The county council’s planning committee was told that the authority’s planning ecologist had carried out a Test of Likely Significant Effect under the Habitats Regulations.
This had concluded that the proposal in combination with other projects, without any further action, might have a significant effect that would require further assessment. In light of this, an Appropriate Assessment was required.
The planning committee agreed to approve the application and grant the head of planning plenary powers to approve the application subject to the Local Planning Authority undertaking such an Appropriate Assessment and the Countryside Council for Wales signing it off. …

Consultation at Brynamman

Public consultation on plans to redevelop a site in Upper Brynamman will take place tomorrow.
Carmarthenshire County Council will hold the consultation at the Black Mountain Centre on Wednesday (July 22) from 10am-4pm.
Principal Officer Area Renewal Clive Thomas said: “The properties at 2/4/6 Mountain Road have recently been demolished and it is intended to re-develop the site to create parking for the Post Office and provide environmental landscaping.
“The initial design has now been completed and will be on display at the centre on the July 22. Members of staff will be in attendance to discuss any matters.
“The display will remain at the centre until July 24 for residents that are unable to attend to express their opinion.”

Brewer takes over Swindon firm

West Wales brewing entrepreneur Simon Buckley has acquired the remains of Archers of Swindon for an undisclosed sum.
Archers, which until March this year brewed in Swindon, went into administration following a period of difficult trading.
The brewery has been acquired by the Buckley family to extend its Welsh brewing operation, and to give it access to new markets in the South West along the M4 corridor into London.
The Buckley family has brewed beer in Wales since 1767, and is now regarded as one of Wales's leading specialist brewers.
Mr Buckley’s Evan–Evans brewery is based in Llandeilo, West Wales, and produces award winning cask ales, for the Welsh and wider UK markets.
Mr Buckley, 51, is a sixth generation member of the Llanelli’s world-famous Buckley family.
Acquisition of the Archers brands and the development of a new brewing and wholesaling business, to be known as Wiltshire Ales, will extend the production at the South Wales brewery to capacity, and will mean the creation of …

Sound advice . . .

After popping the ligaments in my knee, the best advice I received all weekend came from physiotheraptist-to-be daughter Kathryn.
She advises patients to take care on climbing stairs by following the advice - use your good foot first when climbing up the stairs and use your bad foot first when going down the stairs.
Or, as she tells it: "Good to heaven; bad to hell."

Taste test at Five Roads

Parents of children at Five Roads Primary School, Llanelli, have been given the opportunity to taste test school meals.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s catering services team invited parents to sample the food children are served as part of their efforts to raise the profile of the school meals service.
The taste-testing took place during the school’s annual parents evening.
On the menu was home-made beef bolognaise and beef burgers, with home-made sticky toffee cake and chocolate muffins.
Carmarthenshire’s catering services serves up 19,000 school meals to children in 139 schools every day, as part of their commitment to provide healthy, low cost meals with a good nutritional balance.
Seasonal menus are produced using locally sourced produce wherever possible, with emphasis on traditionally cooked, fresh food, with reduced additives, salt and sugar.
In addition to advice from dieticians, the catering team also uses a Saffron computer system to assist in the development of menus.
The system…

Design time for new centre

The St Catherine’s £74m town centre development in Carmarthen will have a public art tableau of a drover and farm animals as a centrepiece.
The public art has been chosen to fit with the history of the area of the former livestock mart.
Carmarthenshire County Council planning committee has agreed that the drover, along with a sheepdog, sheep and goose, can replace the original idea of a sundial at the pedestrianised walkway leading north through the site from the crossing point along St Catherine’s Street.
The proposal will depict a drover herding the animals through the square. The drover and dog will be made of stainless steel and the sheep and goose made of stainless steel with brass highlights.
The designs have been commissioned by the developers Simons Developments and produced by local artist Tony Woodman who has a studio in Newcastle Emlyn.
The committee approved the designs of the drover and goose but have asked for the designs of the sheepdog and sheep to be looked at again and fo…

Open all hours at Grill!

A Llanelli takeaway has been given planning permission to remain open until 1.30am Sunday to Thursday and 3.30am Friday, Saturday and Bank Holidays.
Mr Cavit Cagdas applied to Carmarthenshire County Council to vary a condition that Grill ‘n’ Spice in Murray Street, should not be open to the public between the hours of 12am to 11.30am Sunday to Thursday and 1am to 11.30am Friday and Saturday.
The application approved by the planning committee brings the planning permission into line with the hours of opening granted by their licence.

New tourism website for Carmarthenshire

A stunning new website has been launched to showcase all that Carmarthenshire has to offer.
Inspiring pictures illustrating the county’s breath-taking scenery give tourists a tempting taster of what they could be enjoying on a holiday to one of Wales’s most diverse landscapes. offers everything from an on-line holiday guide to interactive maps and suggestions for places to visit, stay, play and do business.
A full What’s On guide helps visitors plan their stay, and a Food and Drink guide offers advice on eating, shopping and cooking.
Visitors to the county have a dedicated page on which to leave their holiday memories and photos, and businesses can catch a glimpse of the many opportunities that could take their business in a new direction.
Huw Parsons, marketing and tourism manager, said: “With over 58% of people now starting their holiday search via the web, it is essential that the main promotional site for Carmarthenshire is vibrant, informative and innov…